The last time I was in Melbourne was back in early 2010. Now I know what you are thinking: WHY HAVEN'T I BEEN BACK SOONER?!?! After finally making my way back down there I asked myself that same question countless times. Now it's my chance to make up for all that lost time. Even though it was only a short weekend but better than nothing right? Because one of my friends was unable to take leave, we all flew out to Melbourne on late Friday night. By the time we checked into our hotel, it was already 11:00pm. Luckily I was researching for any late night restaurants in Melbourne and the first that popped inside my head was the extremely popular Mexican restaurant, Mamasita. Partly because of my love for Mexican food, regular mentions in the food press and overhearing the hype from other fellow Sydney bloggers who have also trekked to Melb in the past.
Complimentary Salsa Verde for the Tacos (which I used on everything!)
When we arrived at Mamasita at 11:30pm, there was actually no line (and it was a Friday night!) which was good to see especially after hearing from everyone about the epic 1 - 2 hour lines up the stairs to get inside this small restaurant. It was dimly light throughout the whole venue which was frustrating when trying to take photos (I apologise for the terrible photos!). In terms of the atmosphere it had a buzzing ambience though the crowd appeared to be dressed quite hipster and trendy plus there were so many couples (!!!) which made us felt a little out of place.
Mamasita Sangria (200ml: $8.00, Jug: $38.00)
The late night 'Taqueria' menu was a bit limited compared to the regular lunch and dinner menus but there were still the essential faves including the starters (corn, tortilla chips), tacos, ceviches, quesadillas and desserts. We started our night with a jug of sangria as always. While we did enjoy the sangria, it wasn't as fruity as we usually liked. It also wasn't as flavoursome and CC and S both thought it had a slight "soy-like taste" which was a bit odd.
Elote Callejero ($4.90 each)
After looking at the menu, we had our eyes on the Elote Callejero, which was street-style char-grilled corn coated with shredded queso fresco, chipotle mayo and lime. While CC still preferred the much sweeter corn from Queenie's, I devoured the juicy, messy, and tangy kernels in no less than a heart beat. While it was a savoury and relatively spicy dish thanks to the mayo, queso cheese and paprika that melts so easily as you bite into them, it was well-complemented with the sweetness of the corn and a squeeze of the lime thus bringing a burst of exciting flavours to the taste buds. It really was mouthwatering goodness! Was pretty bummed when I demolished my share. If you are looking for something similar in Sydney, the corn at Ms G's is very similar to this in my opinion.
Taco de Arrachera - grilled flank steak, guacamole, tomatilla salsa and red onion ($6.00)
Taco de Puerco - Al Pastor- style pig's cheek, fiery apple and while cabbage ($6.00)
Quesadilla de Huitlacoche ($14.00)
After trying a sample of the dishes from the late night menu, I could imagine why so many people would be so keen to line up for so long for this restaurant especially when there's a decent number of Mexican restaurants in the city. The prices were quite reasonable given the portions for some dishes though it was not the cheapest in my opinion. I was very disappointed that the popular tostaditas were not included on the late night menu. If I live in Melbourne, I can imagine coming back here again to try many of the other dishes including the tortilla chips, the tostaditas and the ceviches since I really enjoyed my time here. If only I'm a patient person when it comes to ridiculously long queues at peak dining hours since they only do bookings for groups of 8-10 people. Since I will most likely be returning back to Melbourne a few more times in the near future, hopefully I can squeeze in a session at Mamasita during its non-peak dining hours as an afternoon snack.
Level 1, 11 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 3821
Mon-Thurs: 11:30am - Midnight
Fri: 11:30am - 2:00am
Sat: 12:30pm - 2:00am
Sun: 12:30pm - 10:00pm